It's amazing how time flies. You put your head down to do some work, and the next thing you know it's two weeks later and you're just bringing your head up for air.
Most of my work at the moment involves a great deal of writing - proposal writing, e-mail writing, guideline writing, these sorts of things. I still marvel at the fact that - even though we're now working full time on this project - it's almost as if I have less time to do everything. I suppose it's probably to be expected - the more movement you have on a project, the faster new items develop that need your attention.
The 4th of July weekend will be a few welcome days off - my parents will be in town, we'll be visiting my grandfather for the fireworks, and I'll be able to put my feet up without feeling like I'm delaying something by not working.
And honestly, it's a good time for it, too. Just the other week we managed to finalize the details of "that elusive contract" that we've been moving towards for the last two months, and others are in the pipeline. Yes, it's vague, I'm sorry - but we're probably a week or three away from being ready to announce anything regarding that. Still, it's a tremendous sigh of relief to have something like that finished and out of the way, and it frees us up to really work on what we really want to work on - changes to the site itself.
Dustin is putting together a feedback tool that allows people to give us feedback on what scenes do and don't have certain characteristics. This will help us fine tune our system a little. Also, about two weeks ago we rolled out a Ajax based interface for testing - after getting some feedback we're about ready to replace the Flash version.
Both of those will probably go up the week after the 4th.
The issue of funding is an interesting one. Despite funding being an important element of keeping this project going (obviously), so far pursuing funding has been a fairly small part of what's been occupying our time. Simply standing up and declaring, "Show me the money!" is probably a poor way of seeking it - before we followed up on the contacts that we've made in the industry regarding funding, we've been exploring our possibilities and establishing relationships. We needed to know how the publishing industry would respond to our approach - would publishers be scared of us, find us interesting, ignore us, etc. Well, now we know the answer to all of those things.
The completion of the mysterious contract that I mentioned earlier not only gives us a great deal of potential data to work with, it also frees us up to shift our attention away from content and towards approaching funders. This is a huge shift in approach - it fundamentally means I now feel we have enough of an opportunity to offer that we're in a good position to open communications a bit more with the VC and angel communities.
Up until now, the delays in this area have been our own strategic choices. This adventure will start getting interesting again when a few things start happening, mainly when the site starts seeing the results of a larger database of books, and second when we start taking this to investors and getting feedback from that.
It'll be interesting to see how it goes as we start down that road in earnest.
But, now it's back to work. Dustin is waiting for my input on the feedback system, and Paul... well, Paul is doing his thing.
Cheers, and have a good 4th of July (for those of you that celebrate it).